Sport after cornea transplant

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eytans
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Sport after cornea transplant

Postby eytans » Wed 29 Apr 2009 6:15 pm

Hi all,

I'm postponing the surgery for 5 years already. my main fear is that i'll not be able to return to sport. I'm doing a lot of sport, running marathons, cycling, swimming, basically every day... it is part of my life and I can't do without.
In the last years my right eye can no longer have the contact lens, even with sclerals I can't see, so I decided this time to go all the way and have the surgery, i don't know if it will be DALK or PK at the end.

I wanted to know if you have experience with doing sport after the cornea surgery? were you allowed by your doctor? were you able to return to be fully active again?

thanks,
Shahar

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Re: Sport after cornea transplant

Postby Loopy-Lou » Wed 29 Apr 2009 6:35 pm

I've asked [and in some detail] these very questions of my surgeon along with others, I'd be happy to post the results as soon as I receive them [letter or email acording to his secretary]. I've asked about short/long term restrictions on weights, cardiovascular exercise, forms of dance/pilates.

One thing I do know now for sure is that you can't swim although I didn't enquire how long that restriction lasts for as I don't personally swim.
I know that very heavy weight lifting you're supposed to wait for 12 months but I don't know yet about more ordinary hand weights/resistance machines. Different types of exercise I'm guessing would place varying degrees of stress on sutures and intraocular pressure.
I personally would never do contact sports or sports where there would be extreme danger or G forces involved, nor the extreme white knuckle rides at theme parks.
Lou

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Re: Sport after cornea transplant

Postby GarethB » Wed 29 Apr 2009 7:18 pm

Swimming post graft and sports where G-forces concerned can be done post graft as I've done that with no ill effects. This was after consultaion with the specialist.

From the specialists i've spoken with the main thing is post graft while the stitches are in place and the cornea is recovering and it is recomended to avoid straining which could increase occular pressure. Lifting weights sensibily and exercising sensibly through the recovery period and once the graft has settled under guidance from the specialist there is no reason why you can't continue with sports. There are a good range of sports eye prtection to prtect the eye from being hit by squash balls or an errant elbow, both of which are perfectly sized for fitting nicely into the eye socket.

Going back 20 years but withn 12 months of a graft I was back training for Rugby and six months after the second graft I was back to competative motorsport. Both grafts were PK because that was all that was available back then. Every dangerous activity both sport and work related have been done with consultaion with the specialist.

It is very much a case of understanding what could cause harm and how likely is it to happen and discussing these with your specialist. Mine has never said no but in some cases has put the risks into context so any decision I have made has been an informed one. The only extreme activities I haven't done yet are parachuting and bungy jumping.

Hope this helps.
Gareth

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Re: Sport after cornea transplant

Postby rosemary johnson » Wed 29 Apr 2009 8:07 pm

Here's what I was told about sporting/recreational activites post-graft:
Swimming: you can NEVER, for the rest of your life, go swimming again - unless you have goggles that are guaranteed to be water tight and keep all of the water you are swimming in out of your eye. (That's because any bug in the water could cause and infection inthe grafted eye and the infection could set off a rejection. I haven't tried swimming since. Graft was 15 months ago.)
Other things: I was a keen horse rider pre-graft. I asked how soon I could ride again, young lady hesitated a bit....
"OK," I said, "it's not the riding that's the problem; it's the falling off bit I mustn't do."
SHe agreed iwth this, and said going out for a gentle ride should be OK 2 weeks after the op.
I'd think cycling and horse riding ought to be in a similar category here - so long as you are riding round the place fairly gently and not trying to power up hillsides to win any "King of the Mountains" green jerseys.
In my case, the anaesthetic completely screwed up my balance and I'm still not,a nd probably never will be, anything like so confident on a horse - and I haven't dared to try to balance riding a bike again. It was several months before I even tried to sit on a horse again, for most of which I thought I never would.
Meanwhile, I could easily tell the things I shouldn't be doing - like carrying too much hay or straw or sacks of oats, wheelbarrows overloaded with you-know-what, or lifting/lowering the ramp at the back of the horsebox. I can do most of those again now, but for a while, I could feel the "strain" feeling across my eye that told me something was too much.
I guess you ought to fix someone to pump oup the bike tyres for you for a few months - and to lift the bike onto the car cycle-carrying rack, if you're heading out to start a country rid einthe country, not setting out from your own front door.
Other things like running - similar, if it's aerobic type actvities and you can pace yourself and not strain in sudden bursts.
Be aware alo, ifyou're having a general anaesthetic, that that can leave you feeling weak, tired, maybe dizzy, for a while - don't push things till that's worn off.
If you're into serious competitive sport, check the rule book on banned sunstances. YOu'll be on steroid-based eye drops for a year or more, and will be given some during the op itself - in your eye, and if you're under GA, maybe i/v with the anaesthetics too. Gluco-cortico- variety rather than anabolic, but do check. THe ost common one is dexamethasone, which has quite a long half-life (reputedly 36-54 hours).
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Rosemary

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Re: Sport after cornea transplant

Postby Andrew MacLean » Wed 29 Apr 2009 9:07 pm

eytans

Welcome to the forum. Your question strikes the experience of many of us, but some have found a way to continue sport even after bilateral grafts: one member is active in motor sports, one goes horse riding, another is a member of his national team at kick boxing while yet another goes sub-aqua diving, in comprehensively watertight face mask.

The thing is that you have to be aware of any risk, and take steps to manage the risk. Before you resume any sporting activity, make sure that you discuss your intention with your ophthalmologist. Remember once you have a graft you are responsible in a way not only to ensure your own health but also to ensure that you do not put at unnecessary risk the gift you have received in the cornea through which you look at the world.

Yours aye

Andrew
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Re: Sport after cornea transplant

Postby Loopy-Lou » Wed 29 Apr 2009 11:27 pm

Well when I was in clinic only this month I was told no swimming, I was told no heavy weight lifting for 12 months.

I know there's protective eye gear for other sports but I wouldn't risk anything which could result in anything potentially hitting my face, and I know some of this comes down to personal choice and judgement but I definately would not risk any dangerous sports, I wouldn't take the risks you have Gareth

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Re: Sport after cornea transplant

Postby GarethB » Thu 30 Apr 2009 7:34 am

If I'd been told what Rosemary and Lou have been told I'd never have been able to complete the degree in the subject I love and never have made a career in the worl of science.

Basically my life would have stopped because I'd be unable to do anything I spent my time at school working towards!

Now working in Health and Safety I do think we have gone too far and have stopped people using the common sense they were born with.

Yes you can get an eye infection from swimming, but you can get an eye infection when having a wash or a shower or just by getting something in your eye. It's surprising after those comments the hospitals then go and fit us with contact lenses post graft!

Next thing you know we'll be told once we've had a graft you have to sit in a sterile bubble for the rest of your life!
Gareth

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Re: Sport after cornea transplant

Postby Loopy-Lou » Thu 30 Apr 2009 12:03 pm

I think sports is different to academic study! It's about balancing risks

I have a relative who used to be a pool lifeguard and sometimes he had to fish out faeces from the pool. On the whole I think most of us don't urinate or defaecate in our showers but people do in pools

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Re: Sport after cornea transplant

Postby GarethB » Thu 30 Apr 2009 5:29 pm

Lou, my degree was environonmental microbiology so I was working close to bacteria and I also had to biochemistry so I was always near things that could cause problems if they were to get into my eyes.

It's like what has been said before, what is the liklihood of soemthing happening and what is the severity. From that you can generate a risk rating for yourself, High, Medium or Low.

For me if it comes out high I don't do it or I take further precations so the risk is no longer high. Same goes for Medium, if it is a one off event I'll probably do that activity, if it is soemthing that might be regular I look at extra precations so I can do that activity. If the risk is low there is no reason why I can't do that activity.

A good example is my motor racing, risk of an RGP lens being damaged in an accident is high (higher than on the public roads), possibly resulting in a broken lens in my eye which could lead to blindness. High risk so don't do. Risk of soft lens being damaged low because of the lens material but if it does brake its uncomfortable but no damage to the eye. Risk low so I'm applying for my competition licence.

We make these judgements unconcously every minute of the day and based on life experiences we have our own judgement of what is safe and waht is dangerous. I consider dancing more likely to result in something in the eye just from seeing some of the rehersals at the local theater. If all the dancers are rehersing a routing and one goes the wrong way they usually end up in heap on the floor. Couple of times I've seen ice packs applied to the eye. Never once seen it in motor racing.

Your more involved in dancing than I am so your perceptions will be different to mine.

Does not mean either one of us is wrong or right.
Gareth

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Re: Sport after cornea transplant

Postby eytans » Thu 30 Apr 2009 5:43 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks for all the feedback!!! I'm much more encouraged now. I'll probably have to relax a bit which is not that bad, but not necessarily stop. I'll probably have to delay my 3rd Ironman and the cycling tour trip that i planned to do in Irland... :)

Now that I'm more relaxed, another short question, how long did it take you to get back to work? I'm in computers, usually in meetings and infront the computer.

thansk,
Shahar


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